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ISSN 2052-1472 (online)

Reproduction Abstracts (2014) 1 P199 | DOI: 10.1530/repabs.1.P199

Motility, viability and calcium in the sperm cells

Jorge Parodi


Universidad Catolica de Temuco, Temuco, Chile.


Sperm cells are complicated in vitro models. Its viability is limited, and its physiology is complex. The study of their properties is of great application in the animal production industry. Therefore, it is important to have viable and functional gametes. Consequently, it has been demonstrated that the decrease of sperm cells viability is related with the increase of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS is secondary to normal metabolic processes of the cell. One of the processes sperm cells, it is the flagellar movement. There is evidence of strategies that leads to reduce these ROS levels by using exogenous or endogenous antioxidant with the intention that seminal plasma protects the sperm cells and increases its viability, so it is feasible to suggest an increase in viability by reducing that flagellar movement which is regulated by calcium. The phenomenon has not been fully characterized, but it is established that in certain mammalian models, the entrance of calcium via specific channels such as CATsper or voltage-dependent channels, it is a signal for flagellar movement to occur. Previous reports have indicated that if changed the calcium concentration in solution or altered the conservation temperature (Althouse et al. 1998), the function of mammal sperm cells was reduced or blocked and the conservation was prolonged. It was observed that fish sperm remained immobile for several weeks and when are activated the number of mobile and viable sperm cells is reduced faster, but if the cells remain not mobile the semen can be preserved for long period (Cabrita et al. 2001, Alavi & Cosson 2005). We support the idea that modulating calcium channels in bovine and salmon sperm are able of reducing motility and increasing the viability of these cells in experimental conditions.

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